&Quot;Europe Goes To Hollywood&Quot; Essay

1501 words - 6 pages

There has always been an interesting connection between Hollywood and Europe. Hollywood has dominated European cinema since the First World War and at present accounts for approximately 80% of market share in the majority of European countries, while European share of the American market is weak at 5.02% in 2001. The Hollywood advantage is concentrated in one very particular kind of moviemaking: films that are entertaining, highly visible, and have broad global appeal. The typical European film has about one percent of the audience of the typical Hollywood film, and this differential has been growing. American movies have become increasingly popular in international markets, while European movies have become less so. A great effort has been made by Europe to try and regain some control over their film industry as American films have always experienced more success than European films in the European film industry and around the world. One of the main problems within the European film industry is that there is great cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, which includes very nation specific humour (thus comedies don't travel well), and a lack of interest in regionally specific films. How can a divided European film industry successfully compete against a united Hollywood industry?

European cinema is generally associated with art cinema. Innovation is emphasised strongly which, over the years, has resulted in the creation of terms such as the French Nouvelle Vague, Italian Neo-Realism and New German cinema. There are also typical European genres such as the Film Noir, European heritage film and the German Heimatfilm. In contrast to Hollywood, there is little conventional action in European art-house films. Many foreign films explore the ideas of symbolism, using allegory. Nevertheless, European audiences have been very welcoming to Hollywood films, which is much more than can be said about the American attitude towards European films. American audiences have always had a distaste for subtitles. They are, on the whole, disapproving of art films and tend not to pay them much attention. Out of the 32,000 commercial cinemas across the United States of America, a mere 500 are allocated to the showing of foreign films as well as low-budget American productions. The question is not why Hollywood makes more movies than Europe, because it does not. The question is why Hollywood movies have more global export success, while European movies are aimed at small but guaranteed local audiences.

European films in the United States are rarely box office hits (with a few exceptions). Instead, other methods are used to achieve substantial box office success. Such methods include European productions with American money on films such as Chocolat. Additionally, European writers, directors, actors, and film ideas are carried over to America where greater opportunities present themselves. Such celebrities include Fritz Lang, Ingrid Bergman, Charlie Chaplin,...

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